Caroline Scott – Khoalesce
(Self released, available from Bandcamp. CSCD001. CD Review by Patrick Hadfield)
Khoalesce is the debut album by Caroline Scott, a young drummer who has been building a reputation playing jazz and other genres with a variety of ensembles. She wrote the pieces that form Khoalesce whilst convalescing from heart surgery: that alone would make it a worthy accomplishment, but the catchy, involving music she has created is much more.
In part this is due to the highly accomplished musicians she has joined with in this project: Duncan Eagles (tenor saxophone), John Turville (piano) and Kevin Glasgow (electric bass). They all bring something to the table, none more so than Turville, by turns thoughtful or forceful.
The music itself sits comfortably on the border between hard bop and post-bop, with an added jagged rhythmic drive in places similar to the M-base movement. There are two it three ballads and a soulful blues on which Eagles evokes classic small group bop, but most of the tunes have a lovely, harder, riff-driven edge.
It is on the ballads that Turville excels. His solos on Overflow, a gentle, wistful piece, and the softly romantic Golden Jubilee are impeccable. Scott’s light brushwork subtly nudges the tunes along.
Elsewhere she is full of rhythmic verve and intensity, driving tunes such as Wind Chimes and Blue Flashing Lights with an urgency. She is equally at home playing straight-ahead bop, as on Nightish, which could be mistaken for a Wayne Shorter-era Jazz Messengers piece – not least thanks to Eagles’ muscular tenor.
One minor quibble is that some of the tunes are quite short, leading one to wonder where the band might have taken them if allowed a longer excursion. Khoalesce has clearly left me wanting more – one can only hope it doesn’t take another serous illness for Caroline Scott to produce something as rich.